19 Jul 2022
19 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Global seasonal distribution of CH2Br2 and CHBr3 in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere

Markus Jesswein1, Rafael P. Fernandez2, Lucas Berná3, Alfonso Saiz-Lopez4, Jens-Uwe Grooß5, Ryan Hossaini6, Eric C. Apel7, Rebecca S. Hornbrook7, Elliot L. Atlas8, Donald R. Blake9, Stephen Montzka10, Timo Keber1, Tanja Schuck1, Thomas Wagenhäuser1, and Andreas Engel1 Markus Jesswein et al.
  • 1University of Frankfurt, Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Frankfurt, Germany
  • 2Institute for Interdisciplinary Science (ICB), National Research Council (CONICET), FCEN-UNCuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
  • 3Atmospheric and Environmental Studies Group (GEAA), National Technological University (UTN-FR Mendoza), Mendoza, Argentina
  • 4Department of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate, Institute of Physical Chemistry Rocasolano, CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • 5Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Stratosphere (IEK-7), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich, Germany
  • 6Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • 7Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 8University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
  • 9University of California, Irvine, Department of Chemistry, Irvine, CA, USA
  • 10Global Monitoring Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, CO, USA

Abstract. Bromine released from the decomposition of short-lived brominated source gases contributes as a sink of ozone in the lower stratosphere. The two major contributors are CH2Br2 and CHBr3. In this study, we investigate the global seasonal distribution of these two substances, based on four High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO) missions, the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) mission, and the Atmospheric Tomography (ATom) mission. Observations of CH2Br2 in the free and upper troposphere indicate a pronounced seasonality in both hemispheres, with slightly larger mixing ratios in the Northern Hemisphere (NH). Compared to CH2Br2, CHBr3 in these regions shows larger variability and less clear seasonality, presenting larger mixing ratios in winter and autumn in NH mid to high latitudes. A clear CH2Br2 maximum is observed in the NH during autumn with a less pronounced similar feature in the Southern Hemisphere (SH). This suggests that transport processes may be different in both hemispheric autumn seasons, which implies that the influx of tropospheric air ("flushing") into the NH lowermost stratosphere is more efficient than in the SH. However, the SH database is insufficient to quantify this difference. We further compare the observations to model estimates of TOMCAT and CAM-Chem, both using the same emission inventory. The pronounced tropospheric seasonality of CH2Br2 in the SH is not reproduced by the models, presumably due to erroneous seasonal emissions or atmospheric photochemical decomposition efficiencies. In contrast, model simulations of CHBr3 show a pronounced seasonality in both hemispheres, which are not confirmed by observations. The distributions of both species in the lowermost stratosphere of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are overall well captured by the models with the exception of southern hemispheric autumn, where both models present a bias that maximizes in the lowest 40 K above the tropopause, with considerably lower mixing ratios in the observations. Thus, both models reproduce equivalent "flushing" in both hemispheres, which is not confirmed by the available observations. Our study emphasises the need for more extensive 20 observations in the SH to fully understand the impact of CH2Br2 and CHBr3 on lowermost stratospheric ozone loss and to help constraining emissions.

Markus Jesswein et al.

Status: open (until 30 Aug 2022)

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Markus Jesswein et al.

Markus Jesswein et al.


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Short summary
This study presents the global and seasonal distribution of the two major brominated short-lived substances CH2Br2 and CHBr3 in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere based on observations from several aircraft campaigns. They show similar seasonality for both hemispheres, except in the respective hemispheric autumn lower stratosphere. A comparison with the TOMCAT and CAM-Chem models shows good agreement in the annual mean, but larger differences in the seasonal consideration.